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  • Spanking in History

    Text and picture from:

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4258/4258-h/4258-h.htm#ch38

    Sergeant Hill’s administration was vigorous, and secured the best results. He became a judge of all infractions of morals and law, and sat at the door of his tent to dispense justice to all comers, like the Cadi of a Mahometan Village. His judicial methods and punishments also reminded one strongly of the primitive judicature of Oriental lands. The wronged one came before him and told his tale: he had his blouse, or his quart cup, or his shoes, or his watch, or his money stolen during the night. The suspected one was also summoned, confronted with his accuser, and sharply interrogated. Hill would revolve the stories in his mind, decide the innocence or guilt of the accused, and if he thought the accusation sustained, order the culprit to punishment. He did not imitate his Mussulman prototypes to the extent of bowstringing or decapitating the condemned, nor did he cut any thief’s hands off, nor yet nail his ears to a doorpost, but he introduced a modification of the bastinado that made those who were punished by it even wish they were dead. The instrument used was what is called in the South a “shake” –a split shingle, a yard or more long, and with one end whittled down to form a handle. The culprit was made to bend down until he could catch around his ankles with his hands. The part of the body thus brought into most prominence was denuded of clothing and “spanked” from one to twenty times, as Hill ordered, by the “shake” in same strong and willing hand. It was very amusing–to the bystanders. The “spankee” never seemed to enter very heartily into the mirth of the occasion. As a rule he slept on his face for a week or so after, and took his meals standing.

    The fear of the spanking, and Hill’s skill in detecting the guilty ones, had a very salutary effect upon the smaller criminals

    Andersonville by John McElroy

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    Hat Tip: James Maren M_Mspanking